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Preslav Rachev
  1. My Writings/

Doubling Down on RSS

·2 mins

Yesterday, I gave our side project BARE a bit of a facelift. Most of The changes are tiny and cosmetic, but one is something I should have done from the very beginning:

The front page of BARE

Can you guess what happened in the year 2005?

Correct, it was the year Google brought Google Reader to the general public. Of course, RSS existed as a technology for a long time before Reader, but it was one of the apps that wrapped the tech in a form that everyone could immediately understand and use.

Unfortunately, Google later shut Reader down, presumably, due to the rising growth of social media and the waning popularity of personal blogs. This left people to search for choices - a lot of good alternatives appeared - Feedly, Feedbin, The Old Reader, Inoreader, just to name a few. Yet, none of them seems to have enticed the market the way Reader did. If you don’t believe me, check out this search on Twitter.

Fast forward to 2022, and we are up to a point where social media can’t be more polarising and optimized for engagement. Gone are the days when people would share their sincere thoughts with the world. Nowadays, most tweets pitch for people’s attention, trying to make them spend their money one way or another. I admit that I am also to blame for this - if you look at my Twitter profile, you will find many tweets pointing people to one or more of the things I earn my living with.

And yet, my motivation is sincere. I believe that the constant scrolling on social media has become a profoundly depressing and distracting experience. One that we can build better tools around. This was one of the reasons I created Murmel last year. I wanted to allow busy people to get important information from social media faster and in a single daily email. For the same reason, my team and I developed BARE using Murmel as a foundation - we believe that people still write heartwarming prose in 280 characters. Still, those get buried beneath flashy imagery and social media engagement tactics.

We believe that the world deserves to see those in a format that is very suitable for blogging. A format that is core to the open nature of the Web and tolerates no gateways - RSS. That’s why we are doubling down on it.

Stronger than ever, stepping on the shoulders of giants.

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